Welcome the personal webspace of Daniel Kratt.
I'm an award winning game & software designer.

My Work Includes:
WordStars (new)
Jet Set Go
Zenergy
Puzzle Pals
Piano Pals
Sigma
Hottie Hookups
Poker Genius
Sally's Spa
Sally's Salon DS
Sally's Salon
Mah-Jomino
Scurge: Hive

Here's a great article about what a designer does:
http://startupsthisishowdesignworks.com/

Here's what Wikipedia says about game designers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_design

 
 

Wordstars

   
About:
In May 2012 after many discussions with the CEO of GamesCafe, I decided to return to head up the design for an asynchronous games division. I really liked what Zynga was doing in the space and I believed in the power of games with a heavy social connection.

WordStars is our fist outing in the genre. I know we're on the right track for multiple reasons; more of my friends play this game than any other game I've ever made and Zynga released an almost identical game 15 days after us.
 
iTunes Download
(Canada Only Beta)
Details:
Developer - GamesCafe
My Role - Lead Designer & Technical Artist
iPhone Release - 13/02/13
 

Jet Set Go

   
About:
Originally, this game was supposed to be a Time Management dream team collaboration between myself and Playfirst. Unfortunately, negotiations fell through and we ended up having to go our own way. Eventually Chillingo would go on to publish the iOS version of the game.

The Jet Set Go team featured many of the original members of the Sally's games. I'm very proud of this game as the team was very small and the scope was huge. The fact that we finished this game as quickly as we did was amazing.

 
Downloads:
iTunes Download
PC Download
Mac Download
Windows Phone
Details:
Developer - Ph03nix New Media
iOS Publisher - Chillingo
My Role - Designer & Director
iPhone Release - 21/07/11
PC & Mac Release - 24/04/11
Awards & Accolades:
> Selected & funded by Nokia to be brought over to the Windows Phone Store.
 

Zenergy

   
About:
Zenergy was a collaboration between Ph03nix and Rare Method. TransCanada was looking for a developer to create an iPad game for use at various trade shows and public presentations that would demonstrate the delicate balance of producing energy and protecting the environment.

This project was a big departure for me but I had a great time doing it. It was an interesting challenge to teach through game play and it was great to work with people from outside my industry. I also really enjoyed working directly with a client and rising to the challenge to deliver a product that excited them.
 
Downloads:
Private App
(not available)
Details:
Developer - Ph03nix New Media / Rare Method
Client - TransCanada
My Role - Designer & Director
Platform - iPad
Awards & Accolades:
> Featured on ABC Houston.

Puzzle Pals

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About:
Our 2 week experiment Piano Pals turned out so well that we decided to do another one (unfortunately, this one took more like 3 weeks)! Again inspired by my son and his fascination with jig saw puzzles at the time, we took the Piano Pals framework and replaced Pianos with Puzzles.

Working on this project planted the seeds for two other games I would like to make some day. It's amazing where you find inspiration!

 
Downloads:
iTunes Download
Details:
Developer - Ph03nix New Media
My Role - Designer & Director
iOS Release - 15/07/11
 

Piano Pals

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About:
With Jet Set Go stuck in publisher negotiations, the team was asked to pause development. We were challenged to conceive, develop and ultimately get to market an app in 2 weeks. We succeeded!

Piano Pals was inspired by a Winnie the Pooh book that my son always played with. This was another really fun project as the two week time box was an interesting way to work. When it was all said and done, all things considered, Piano Pals was a huge success.
 
Downloads:
iTunes Download
Details:
Developer - Ph03nix New Media
My Role - Designer & Director
iOS Release - 12/10/10
Awards & Accolades:
> Featured in a CBC News story about how the iPad
is helping special needs children.

Sigma

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About:
Sigma has a very special place in my heart. This was perhaps the only time in my entire career that I was able to make a game for me. With Sigma, I was never asked to target an age, gender or specific demographic. We had 3 people and 3 months to do whatever we wanted to. Sigma was critically acclaimed across the board.

I still receive emails about this game. Those who loved it were really passionate about it. One day I really hope to make a spiritual successor to this game.
 
Downloads:
iTunes Download
Details:
Developer - Ph03nix New Media
My Role - Designer & Director
iOS Release - 03/06/10
Awards & Accolades:
> Game of the Year Digital Alberta.
> Considered for recognition at the Canadian Video Game Awards.
 

Hottie Hookups

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About:
Easily the biggest misstep in my career. This game was supposed to be a fun little satire in which we made fun of basically everyone on earth (including video game developers). As it turns out, people who can't take a joke tend to be loud and easily offended. People who "Got It" thought it was hilarious and loved the game.

Live and learn...
 
Downloads:
iTunes Download
Details:
Developer - Ph03nix New Media
My Role - Designer & Director
iOS Release - 24/02/10
 

Poker Genius

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About:
Poker Genius was a quick little 1 month project. The idea behind this game was to develop a game while getting all the tools built that we would need to move my new employer Ph03nix New Media into iPhone development.

I still really love this game. It's so simple and perfect for the iPhone. I think I'll revisit this game someday and give it the due it deserves.
 
Downloads:
iTunes Download
Details:
Developer - Ph03nix New Media
My Role - Designer & Director
iOS Release - 23/12/09
 

Sally's Spa

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About:
I had a pretty good feeling part way through the development of Sally's Salon that I would end up making a sequel to it. I always knew that the sequel would take place in a spa.

This might be the best game I've ever made. It was a pretty magical time for the team. A few of us had been working together for years. We were really firing on all cylinders. We all wanted to prove that we were not one hit wonders. Sally's Spa did everything a great sequel is supposed to do. We retained the core of what people loved, we removed what people didn't like, we added some new features and we delivered an extremely polished product.
 
Downloads:
iTunes Download

PC Download
Mac Download
Details:
Developer - GamesCafe
PC Publisher - Real Arcade
My Role - Designer & Director
PC & Mac Release - 04/06/08
iPhone Release - 08/04/09
Awards & Accolades:
> Top Paid App on the App Store.
> Discussed by Megan Fox on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
> Highest selling game for Real Networks 2008.
> Time Management Game of the Year (multiple outlets).
> Game of the Year Digital Alberta.

Sally's Salon DS

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About:
With the rise of the casual game, Real Arcade was ready to dip their toe into the world of console development. Sally's Salon was one of three third party games chosen by Real Arcade to be taken to other platforms.

The Nintendo DS version of Sally's Salon was written from the ground up as a totally unique experience that featured a more whimsical art style and a heavy emphasis on zany micro games. Why this game isn't available on the Nintendo eShop is totally beyond me.
 
Get it From:
Amazon
Details:
Developer - GamesCafe
Publisher - Real Arcade
Distributer - Capcom
My Role - Designer & Director
Release - 04/11/08
 

Sally's Salon

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About:
The original idea for Sally's Salon was inspired by my wife. My wife is a lawyer and sometimes when things get really stressful, she tells me she wishes she could be a hairdresser. At the time, the Time Management genre was almost exclusively based in restaurants. I felt like salons and spas could serve as more romantic settings for Time Management games.

The rest as they say is history.
 
Downloads:
PC Download
Mac Download
Details:
Developer - GamesCafe
PC Publisher - Real Arcade
My Role - Designer & Director
PC & Mac Release - 25/07/07
Awards & Accolades:
> Highest selling game for Real Networks 2007.
> Launched Lifetime Presents partnership between Real Arcade and Lifetime.
 

Mah-Jomino

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About:
After the dust settled and pieces of Orbital Media became GamesCafe, I got my first opportunity to head up design on a game from the beginning to the end. At the dawn of GamesCafe, Mahjong was a popular genre of casual game.

Mah-Jomino was inspired by my Christmas visits to Quebec playing Dominos with my in-laws. Though the game ended up missing the mark, publishers took note of its originality and without this game Sally would never have happened.
 
Downloads:
PC Download
Mac Download
Details:
Developer - GamesCafe
PC Publisher - Big Fish Games
My Role - Game Designer
PC & Mac Release - 06/05/06
 

Scurge: Hive

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About:
Working on Scurge: Hive was a dream come true. The first game I ever got to work on was exactly the kind of game I would want to make. Unfortunately, Orbital Media ran out of gas and we never had a chance to make a sequel.

The talent that made up this team was crazy. Every member of this team went on to do great things. I still receive emails about this game to this date.
 
Get it From:
Amazon
Details:
Developer - Orbital Media
Publisher - SouthPeak
My Role - Co-Project Lead
GBA Release - 24/10/06
NDS Release - 24/10/06
Awards & Accolades:
> Chosen by Nintendo to appear at their E3 booth.
> Number 22 on Jeremy Parish's best of the Nintendo DS list.